Aim: The aims of the present study were to analyse the phenols, flavonoids content and antioxidant activity of common weeds growing around agriculture fields of Punjab plains.
Methods: Eight weed species have been analysed for the secondary metabolites content and antioxidant activity in the different plant parts. Methanolic extracts have been prepared by the maceration method. Total phenolic, flavonoid content and DPPH radical scavenging activity, total antioxidant capacity have been performed using UV-Vis spectrophotometer.
Results and conclusion: Maximum content of phenolics were reported in Ageratum conyzoides (flower, 9.51±0.00 mg CA/g DW), Launaea procumbens (stem, 7.94±0.01 mg CA/g DW), Ranunculus muricatus (flower, 7.15±0.07 mg CA/g DW) and Sonchus asper (flower, 8.12±0.34 mg CA/g DW). The flavonoid content was measured high in case of Silybum marianum (stem, 4.83±0.00 mg Q/gDW), Ranunculus muricatus (leaves, 2.96±0.01 mg Q/gDW), Solanum nigrum (leaves, 2.45±0.03 mg Q/gDW) and Ageratum conyzoides (leaves, 2.15±0.01 mg Q/gDW). All the species of weeds having high phenol and flavonoid content, also have strong antioxidant potential in terms of DPPH radical scavenging activity and total antioxidant capacity. One weed species i.e. Ranunculus muricatus has been reported for its antioxidant activity for the first time. Our results demonstrate that these weeds, could be a potential source of natural antioxidants in future in the pharmaceutical industry.